What Happens When You Anodize Metal?

Perhaps you have heard of anodized aluminum alloy, but you might not know what it is. This metal treatment process is an important part of providing metal with unique properties. Here is more on the subject of anodizing, to help you get a clear understanding of what anodize means and why it is important.

Defining Anodizing

The term “anodize” comes from the anode that is one part of an electric circuit. Electricity refers to the flow of “electrons” through a conductor, and the flow is from a positive charge to a negative charge. The anode is the positive terminal, and the cathode is the negative one.

In the process of anodizing, a piece of metal (like aluminum alloy) becomes the decisive part of an electric flow of current. Aluminum naturally forms a corrosion-resistant coating, once exposed to oxygen. However, anodizing speeds up and enhances this corrosion resistance. Resisting many kinds of corrosion is only one benefit of this process. In fact, anodizing provides a number of advantages, such as:

 * Strength – if you anodize aluminum it becomes stronger. In fact, its outer surface becomes extremely hard

 * Durability – The process of anodizing aluminum provides a protective outer coating. This makes it highly resistant to normal wear and tear.
 * Less color fading – after you anodize aluminum it is less likely to fade when coloring is applied. The metal becomes porous and absorbs the color, doing it a part of the material.

 * Lower maintenance costs – when used in outdoor and industrial applications, there is little need for cleaning, and when cleaning is required, it is not difficult. Plus, there is almost no need for resurfacing or painting.

 * Eco-friendly choice – many anodizing processes use recycled materials like baking powder, cosmetics, and newspapers. Plus, aluminum is one of the most recycled metals on the planet.

Applications

Today many types of anodized metals are available, and it has a broad range of uses. For example:

 * Printing – it is not difficult to print clear images on anodized aluminum. In fact, the images can be of photographic quality. This makes anodized metals perfect for products like aluminum baseball bats, signs, and many outdoor applications.

 * Automotive – as gas mileage becomes a major issue, it’s important to make cars that are lighter and can still hold up for day to day use. More and more auto manufacturers are choosing parts from anodized aluminum.

 * Aerospace – Many types of aircraft need lightweight components that are also stable and resistant to corrosion, and when you anodize aluminum alloy it becomes the best choice. In fact, there are many kinds of anodized aluminum parts in space today.

Secoa Technology provides a broad range of metal coatings for business and we were the first company to commercialize Nickel Boron plating over 40 years ago. To check out how we anodize and treat our materials, visit us online today!

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